Explained: Thar Desert, Rajasthan is the home to World’s largest Geoglyphs

Researchers have found the world's largest man made sketch or a geoglyph in the Thar desert of Rajasthan in India. It is bigger than those discovered in Nazca, Peru. Take a look at the details below.
Created On: Jun 14, 2021 17:30 IST
Modified On: Jun 14, 2021 18:17 IST
World's largest geoglyph in Thar
World's largest geoglyph in Thar

World’s largest Geoglyphs found in the Thar Desert, Rajasthan

World's largest geometrical man-made painting has been discovered in Rajasthan's Thar desert. It is a huge spiral artwork that covers over 1,00,000 square metres in Boha village, close to Jaisalmer.

As per the experts, this is the largest drawing made which is way bigger than Nazca Lines in South America. 

The spiral artwork has been made of a series of geoglyphs.  It was first spotted on Google Earth by Carlo and Uohann Oetheimer who hail from France.  

Boha Location

What are Geoglyphs?

  1. Geoglyphs are large handmade drawings that have been carved on the surface of the land usually by removing or clearing a vast expanse of upper soil. 
  2. They are generally longer than four metres and are made of durable objects in the landscape, like stones, trees and gravel. 
  3. Positive geoglyph is formed by materials being laid on the ground whereas a negative geoglyph is formed when the materials are removed from the Earth's surface.
  4. Many geoglyphs have been discovered in the Amazon forest. They are man-made ditches and have strange shapes. 
  5. The most famous ones are in Nazca, Peru where recently a catlike figure has been found on a hill measuring approximately 37 miles. 
  6. The cultural significance of Geoglyphs remains uncertain. 
  7. In Peru, to the south of Lima, a spiral tailed monkey has also been discovered. 
  8. Among the geoglyphs found in the world, many of them could not be realised at the ground level. One has to be a certain amount in the air to realise the exact shape of the man-made sketch. 
  9. This is the reason many geoglyphs were not visible before the invention of aeroplanes.

Example of Geoglyph:

  1. Nazca lines in Peru are a group of many geoglyphs that are etched into a 380 sq mile area. It dates back to 500 BC and has animals and plants drawn on it. 

Nazca lines

b. Take a look at the example of a negative geoglyph. It is the Uffington White Horse in England. It is a horse-shaped figure cut into a chalky hillside.

White Horse Uffington

Geoglyph in Boha: Details 

  1. The enigmatic lines have been discovered in Boha village in Rajasthan. The village is approximately 30 miles in area. 
  2. Among the geoglyphs found the largest is named Boha 1. These are asymmetrical spiral lines that measure around 7.5 miles. 
  3. The next multi-patterned geoglyph lying next to it is named Boha 2. 
  4. As per the researchers, the lines and the drawings are unique from the world and are made up of many enigmatic signs. 

Carlo and Yohann Oetheimer found these in the year 2016 and conducted drone research on them to discover 2 geoglyphs.  They also said the geoglyphs were so large that those who made them could never take a glimpse of them at once. 

On the eighth site in Boha, the father-son duo found four distinctive symbols. They were 20 inch wide lines having varying length and complexity. 

Thar Desert Rajasthan Geoglyph

In the centre, it has a symbol that is 2374 feet long and 650 feet wide. It is made of a single spiral line that is 7.5 miles wide. The southwest of the line bends repeatedly to form a grid of parallel lines. 

There are also many memorial stones located close to these geoglyphs which makes the researchers realise that the use of Planimetric ( a study of plane measurements including angles and areas) has been made to create such designs. 

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Where are the most famous geoglyphs?

Peru is the home to world's most famous geoglyphs ranging from Feline animals to bird like creatures etc.

What is a geoglyph?

Geoglyphs are large hand made sketches on the ground that are made using angles and area measurements

Where are the largest geoglyphs found?

The world's largest geoglyphs are found in Boha Village near Jaisalmer, Thar desert in India

Where is Thar Desert?

Thar desert is located in Rajasthan in India
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